Important Bird Areas

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

New Mexico

Bosque del Apache is one of the most spectacular national wildlife refuges in North America. The 57191 acre refuge straddles the Rio Grande valley in Socorro County, NM. Within the refuge borders lie three wilderness areas totaling 30850 acres, most of which is desert scrub/mesquite and grassland habitat. Other habitat types include: marsh - 2000 acres, river - 66 acres, croplands - 1300 acres, grasslands - 24800 acres, brush - 3000 acres, desert - 24900 acres, forest - 1300 acres.

The refuge receives 7 inches of precipitation annually, mostly in the form of rain. Temperatures range from 0 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The foothills and mesas are typically high desert with sandhill mesquite and grassland bajadas leading to lower elevations. Artificially created marshes replace natural wetlands lost with the development of reservoirs, causing channelization of the Rio Grande.

Directions: Take I-25 south from Socorro and take the San Antonio exit (US-380). Turn south at the flashing stop light in San Antonio onto NM-1 and continue to the refuge headquarters.

Ornithological Summary

Over 340 species of birds live here. During winter, there are huge flocks of Snow Geese and Sandhill Cranes; dabbler ducks abound (35000+); Black-throated and Sage Sparrows can be found in the drier areas; and raptors including Bald Eagles and Ferruginous Hawks are present. During summer look for Vermillion Flycatcher and Lucy's Warbler (both at the northern edge of their range), Lesser Nighthawk, Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Willow Flycatcher. Migration brings shorebirds as well as migrating passerines.

Sources:
Field office weekly surveys
Mid-winter waterfowl survey
Southwest Willow Flycatcher surveys (SWF)
Christmas Bird Counts 96-104 (CBC)

Additional Data:
Wading birds, 1995-2002, Winter, 10096 individuals average, 12290 individuals maximum

Water birds, 1995-2002, Winter, 43120 individuals average, 59529 individuals maximum

Conservation Issues

Removal of salt cedar, restoration of cottonwood/willow community, build and maintain fire breaks, restore native flora.

Ownership

US Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 1246, Socorro NM 87801

Habitat

The 57191 acre refuge straddles the Rio Grande valley in Socorro County, NM. Within the refuge borders lie three wildeness areas totaloing 30850 acres, most of which is desert scrub/mesquite and grassland habitat. Other habitat types include: Marsh - 2000 acres, river - 66 acres, croplands - 1300 acres, grasslands - 24800 acres, brush - 3000 acres, desert 24900 acres, forest - 1300 acres.

The refuge receives 7" of precipitation annually, mostly in the form of rain. Temperatures range from 0 to 100 degrees Farenheit. The foothills and mesas are typically high desert with sanhill mesquite and grassland bajadas leading to lower elevations. Artifically created marshes replace natural wetlands lost with the development of reserviors, causing channelization of the Rio Grande.